Holiness & Glory; New Concepts! – UPDATED

I like this piece by Tom Howard, a classics teacher who is looking at how modern students respond to Homer:

But then we came to Homer. This old blind bard addresses himself to his poetic task with immense energy. And a reader does not get far into The Iliad before he finds himself hailed with the sheer zest with which Homer extols the magnificence, nobility, courage, and prowess of the heroes on both sides of that war. In the Greek camp, we find Agamemnon, Menelaus, Achilles, Ajax, and a host of others, who are, to a man, breathtaking in their splendor. Likewise in the camp of their enemy Troy, we find Aeneas, Troilus, Paris, and, towering above all the Trojan heroes, Hector. Heroism is unabashedly extolled, and modern readers can at least admire this quality, even though the idea has suffered under the skepticism and even cynicism that mark “modernity.” Warrior heroes are not popular in the myths presiding in our own epoch, but it would be a pitiable man whose imagination was altogether impervious to the spectacle of real heroism.

But there are some qualities at work in the air of this epic that might encounter stony indifference on the part of modern imagination. For one thing, holiness is in the air. Blood sacrifice is in the cards. Men slaughtered heifers or sheep or cattle at every juncture — as many as a hundred cattle in the famous hecatomb. And if you neglected this pious duty, the consequences were likely to be heavy. Apollo or Hera or Poseidon would fly into a fit of pique and visit condign punishments on your head. The smoke of the sacrifice must go up — but to whom?

You’ll want to read it all

UPDATE: Speaking of Holiness and Glory:

Remarkable, heroic, holy and humbling.

A way to help – check this out

And this
report is very sobering. Don’t miss it.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    The piece by Tom Howard was excellent. Thanks.

  • Fr Patrick of Monterey

    I made a deal with God that if I retrieved the full amount of money spent on what turned out to be a bad deal…I would give half to charity. I got full repayment and then came across Mai and his rescue of babies and proper burial for those who were aborted. It was a joy to share with his life-giving ministry. What a guy!

  • Greta

    Amazing numbers. over 19 million african americans killed by abortion. current total population of african americans 36 million. add to this that over 70% of current african american pregnancies are to single moms and that the number one cause of poverty by far in the USA is being a single mom. to me this is the true legacy of the democratic party and their support of both welfare and abortion on the african american community. And to think back when Senator Monihan said back in 1965 that the births to single moms in the african american community was a huge problem and it was about 20%.

  • http://victor-undergo.blogspot.com/ Victor

    Wake UP Elizabeth cause you’ll soon be needed two thousand years in the past cause you’ve passed again.

    I hear ya! Sorry Victor but you must be thinking about one of my dead cells of yesterday. :)

    Keep UP the good words and works.

    God Bless Peace

  • Lori

    Loved the Tom Howard piece. Everyone should study classics, just so we understand how far we’ve fallen as a society. I once had a fantasy about bringing a beloved character from a favorite Victorian novel to the present day, to show him the marvels of modern creativity and science about which he speculated so eagerly. Then I realized he’d also have to learn how vulgar, cynical, irreligious, and aimless we’ve become in the Western world. No, thanks — dear Mr Thornton must stay in the past.

    I couldn’t read Mr. Howard’s piece without thinking of the finest essay on glory I know, written by C.S. Lewis during the darkness of the Second World War. (Actually, he preached it as a sermon at Oxford; in another historical bit of fantasy, I’ve often wished myself there to hear it with others for the first time.) Read it and know what glory is, in our age and every other. You’ll never look at another human being the same way again.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    I just saw the video now. That man should be a saint! What a great human being. That was even better than the Tom Howard piece.